Catalan 13 Hull FC 24: Hull to meet holders in Challenge Cup semi

Hull FC's head coach Peter Gentle
Hull FC's head coach Peter Gentle
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Tetley’s Challenge Cup holders Warrington and Super League leaders Wigan were kept apart when the semi-final draw was made today.

The Wolves, who are bidding for a fourth Wembley victory in five years, will take on Hull while Super League strugglers London Broncos will meet the winners of tomorrow’s remaining quarter-final between Wigan and Widnes.

The draw was made by former Wigan favourite Henderson Gill and ex-Warrington winger Des Drummond at the Halliwell Jones Stadium following the Wolves’ emphatic 44-24 victory over Huddersfield.

Hull, who were 24-13 winners over Catalan Dragons in Perpignan yesterday, were the last away team to win at the Halliwell Jones Stadium after they triumphed 22-16 over Warrington in Super League in May.

On Saturday, Shannon McDonnell scored twice as Hull booked their first semi-final in five years when they saw off the challenge of Catalan Dragons in an error-strewn match in hot and humid conditions.

The visitors led 8-7 at the break and despite trailing for the majority of the second half, Hull took the lead with 15 minutes remaining and relied on their defence to hold firm and seal their place in the final four.

Damien Blanch had a try ruled out for the home team as Morgan Escare was ruled to be offside in the opening minutes after good work by Scott Dureau.

That was before a superb McDonnell try after some good build-up work by Aaron Heremaia and Jacob Miller. McDonnell twisted his way to the line despite the best efforts of three Catalan defenders. Westerman added the conversion to give the visitors a six-point lead.

On the half hour mark, the Catalans were level as Eloi Pelissier scored a superb solo effort to mark his entrance to the game. Dureau added the goal to level the scores before he gave the Catalans the lead with a drop goal four minutes before the break from 30 metres out.

Hull bounced back and Danny Tickle kicked a penalty from 10 metres after Jamal Fakir held on in the tackle too long.

After the break, the Catalans retook the lead, with good work by Dureau and Lopini Paea saw them combine to send in Escare to the left of the posts. Dureau added the conversion to take the scores to 13-8.

Three minutes later Hull scored again, McDonnell running at the Catalan left wing and holding up the defenders just enough to send in Tom Lineham in the right corner. Tickle missed the conversion.

With 15 minutes remaining, Danny Houghton picked up and scooted away from the dummy half position, Duport got back to pull him back but the Hull hooker offloaded to the supporting Tom Briscoe who went over after stepping Escare with ease. Tickle added the conversion to give Hull a five-point lead.

With time running down, Catalans threw everything at Hull and a Steve Menzies knock on looked to have ended the game.

However, Hull did not see it that way and after Kirk Yeaman broke clear and drew the covering Escare, McDonnell offered his support and scored to the left of the posts to seal the win and send the travelling Hull fans into raptures.

Tickle added the conversion to add icing to the cake.